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I've not played in many tournaments but at the ones that I have played in the one thing that I hear is people sandbagging in order to assure they have a fighting chance to win something against the newbie am's that are just starting out.

I'm starting to think that this is all that the older experienced players care about anymore. How much do I win and how many new faces are in the crowd so I can play back a skill level and maybe place in the top 2-4 depending on what the payout or prizes are.

The PDGA has their ranking system but is that really an accurate route to go if your not a PDGA member? How does that ranking transfer over to an unevaluated course? How accurate are the records of all these online places that have course directories? How accurate is the information you gather about a course, the distances actually within a 10' shot or was the tee moved and nothing updated on these sites?

There has to be some way to rank courses and have them all done within 3 years. Then whatever way you come up with to get a handicap based on a common rating for a course would level the field tons. Each Course could then have its rating posted with instructions on how to obtain your skill rating even if you have never played a round in your life or at a new course the first time.

OOPS I'm sorry I must be in never never land. Every time I start to mention having a handicap league to older players they all have this same ole heavy sigh of "oh god not another one". The ones that are interested in having a handincapping system for everyone both recreational and in competition are doing their best to adapt. To me the ones that give the big sigh are the ones that feel the wallet being pinched because they can't hide how good they really are in a handicapping system. You sandbag on this course and sale on another it will affect your rating both ways. The more scores for a course you enter the more accurate your rating for that course will be, provided the course data is accurate for the rating system to work properly.

In Ball Golf they have a handicapping system and it has been known for centuries as the gentlemens game. Why wouldn't they have a handicapping system? Disc Golf has a handicapping system through Disc Golf United but I have noticed that the course information is inaccurate on lots of courses. They had Freedlander Park as being 9 holes and it now has 18.

If you truely want to level the field and have more fun playing than worring about how much and what you will win then join Disc Golf United and help them get the course information for courses your are familiar with as accurate as possible. The hardest part is remembering to record your score and then enter it in on the website.

If all you care about is how much $$ you will win or what kind of discs will you win then don't bother with the above. You are the ones that I am looking to NOT cater to.

I want to play with those that want to have a good time first, score second and prizes last if at all. On a more level playing field might it may up the anti a bit on how well you play when you know your win isn't assured because your playing agianst less experienced players and the handicaps come into play, you chicken out. How can you claim a victory when your competition has no clue that you sandbagged them? That would be like me taking someone fresh off the street that never threw a disc before and betting them $5 on the game knowing that I will have them smoked within the first 3 holes. If I have a handicap and the course has a rating then a handicap can be derived for the new person and then the round would be a fair fight.

Leveling the playing field by having a common handicapping system will bring the term Gentlemen's Game to DG and put some honesty into the tournaments wether sanctioned or not. It will bring honesty to the recreation side as well because each round counts.

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I run tournaments and play a lot of tournaments in a broad area across the midwest. I see basically zero sandbagging. What I see a lot of is Rec players playing Advanced, or Am 4s playing Intermediate, and then complaining about "sandbagging." We need a derogatory term for that. I propose "dreambagging".

We keep ratings on non-members at our tournaments. We see very few non-members trying to play in a division below where their rating would put them if they had joined a year ago. It just is not happening much in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. And it doesn't happen at all with members. You might get in a little trouble for that if you did it twice.

If someone sucks they need to man up and admit it. If someone sucks and they want to play up a division or two for the experience, that is their choice, but they need to shut their yap about other players sandbagging. They are dreambagging about how incredibly awesome they are. The players beating them by ten throws actually belong in that division.

Take the C-bus March Madness for instance. It's down your way. 24 players in Advanced. 18 of them are dreambaggers. 28 players in Intermediate. 20 of them are dreambaggers. 24 players in rec. 20 of them are dreambaggers. Each of these divisions was won by a PDGA member with a rating appropriate for that division. Dreambaggers 58, Sandbaggers 0.

With the new PDGA ratings breaks, very few players belong in Advanced anymore. It has become strictly a dreambagger division. I'm currently an Intermediate under the new system. I'm going to play Intermediate. I'm going to play it loudly and see if I can wake up some of the dreambaggers.

At the Illinois Open Series I'll be working on the day that the advanced division plays. I'll probably have an advanced rating all summer. So I'll have to dreambag in Open.
As a recreational player that hasn't kept score for a round in about a year, my solution is easy: don't play tournaments.

Once upon a time, I thought it would be fun to play a tourney. My schedule didn't allow it, so I missed it. After the results were posted, come to find out the top player in the lowest division (Intermediate) had a score that would have placed him second in Advanced and tied for second in Pro-Masters (and about 25 strokes under what I would have played on this extremely challenging course). How do TDs expect to get new blood playing when the people in their division will just crush them 10 times over?

Since then, I have noticed the majority of the strife (aka whining) in the community is spawned directly from the loins of tournaments. So I just steer clear of everything from organized tournaments to informal random flip doubles. I just want to hang out in the park with friends, getting uptight about my favorite recreational activity is simply not on my agenda.
The Disc Golf U website - see banner link in right column - is working handicaps.
Part of the problem is that some TDs insist on not running the lower divisions. If more TDs offered the lower divisions, they would draw out more players like yourself. In my first tournament, the top score in the lowest division offered was under par (using all as par 3). I came away with two things a) I needed to practice and b) I wasn't going to play in another tournament for a quite a while. The tournament was an unsanctioned tournament. Later on, I figured out that I needed to play sanctioned tournaments that offered the lower divisions. This reduced the sandbagging and allowed me to play with players that I actually had a chance at keeping up with.
I totally agree that if tournaments are not fun for you, don't play them. I'm always reminding myself that i don't play disc golf to inctrease the stress in my life.
This argument has been going on for as long as anyone can remember and its still valid. For me, I worked my but off so I could play MPO, I didn't want to play in am or adv for long. the goal (if you are a tournement junkie, or a competitive freak like me,) is to beat the best players you can and better your own game. So if there are sandbaggers at your tounements beating you then practice everyday and come out and take their pride away.
It works, the adv players made fun of me when I was an Am and said I was comming for them, 6 months later I was #1 in Adv, 4 months later I went ot MPO not at #1 but the Adv guys were still playing advanced..... Play your game, Play it Honest, Play it hard, and don't take to many Boggies. Its the only solution to sandbagging.
I used to think about this a little bit more a couple of years ago. I started off playing for fun with friends in high school and decided that I wanted to take it to a competitive level. I joined the PDGA in 2005 and played in the recreational division. I had no rating at all and got crushed out there. There were jokes of players sand baggin. I didn't care, I had fun and meet new people. I played a couple more tournaments and by the end of that season I won my first rec. tourney beating out the same guy that won the first one I attended.
I then played a couple more rec tournys and got a rating of 888. I moved up to intermediate and was doing pretty good in that division. I think my rating jumped up to 914. I played a couple advanced tournaments and more intermediates in 2006. I only got 1 win in INT that season. I felt like I was part of the better half of INT, however my rating was able to play in that division. I felt that the PDGA had set up these guidelines for a reason and because of that I followed their suggested division for me to play in.
My rating has slowly gone up and is now at 944 and I play advanced. That is all I have played in for the past year. I have no wins in this division and continue to go out and try. I do know there are guys out there that are constantly a couple of throws better than me. I just keep trying to eliminate those throws.
Think about this,a player that is rated 945 is only 1 throw better than a player rated 935, according to the PDGA's rating system. I used to get kinda upset when the same group of players kept placing higher than me, with that said I practiced more and have gotten about 6 throws better than when I first started playing.
I would say that when a person keeps winning a division and their rating is starting to average out to be in a higher division, then they should move up. It would help a bit if the ratings were updated more than a handful of times a year. If I'm not mistaken ball golf is updated almost weekly. You would get a more accurate idea of where you stand compared to the rest of the field. I agree with Bruce about the "Dreambaggin" concept. Out here in Colorado it seems that once you hit 940 you automatically jump up to pro. To me this is an idiotic thing to do. There are some of the top rated pro's in the world out here in CO and it just seems like a donation. I appreciate what the pro's have done for the game, but I would be dreambaggin playing in pro. PLUS I have yet to win in ADV, so why move up when there is still someone ahead of me in my own division.
To all the sand haulers out there ...this is a rule of thumb for you to play buy and only applies to AM'S in all divisions. If you do not have a 1st place Trophy in the division you are currantly playing in play to you get a couple and if your waxing the second place player buy a good margen in a competive Tourney every time you play or playing ADV and your score puts you in the cash in a Pro division then move up....sure its fine to have a few 1st place trophys in the AM divisions and a job well done at that....but compair your scores to the next player or the next higher division and I'm sure you will do just fine....in the old days if your score was in the top 3 in the Pro division after your first round and you were playing ADV .....we would bump you then and there and this goes for the AM's as well.....those day are over!!!
Too bad they don't have the bump up rule any more - would really fix a lot of these problems fairly quickly - not that it seems to be a problem where I live.

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